Friday, July 6, 2018

Report: Feds seeking more information regarding KU forward Silvio De Sousa

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) puts up a shot during a shoot around on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) puts up a shot during a shoot around on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


Despite continued confidence from both him and Kansas coach Bill Self about his status for the 2018-19 college basketball season, KU sophomore Silvio De Sousa was back in the news again Friday.

According to reports from the Associated Press report and other media outlets, De Sousa’s name has surfaced in connection with a set of subpoenas sent to the University of Maryland in connection with the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball.

Maryland, an Under Armour school, was in the running for De Sousa’s services, but the Angola native chose Kansas, an Adidas school, in late August of 2017, announcing his commitment in an interview with the Journal-World.

According to reports, the subpoena sent to Maryland on June 29, 2018, requested information on, "the recruitment, eligibility and/or amateur status" of De Sousa.

Friday’s report, which indicated that Maryland received two separate subpoena requests — one on March 15 and the other in late June — marked the first time De Sousa’s name had actually been connected to the investigation, but did not mention any wrongdoing on the part of Maryland, De Sousa or his guardian, only that Maryland had been contacted by federal investigators requesting all documents and communication between Maryland assistant coach Orlando Ranson and De Sousa.

Although De Sousa was not named in a superseding federal indictment filed in April that alleged improper payment by Adidas to a parent of one former Kansas player — now believed to be Billy Preston — and the guardian of another, the date of his commitment, which was written in the indictment, seemed to connect De Sousa to the investigation.

At the time, De Sousa’s guardian, Fenny Falmagne, was adamant that neither he nor the 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., had done anything wrong. And in the weeks since, De Sousa and Self have said on multiple occasions that they were confident De Sousa would be eligible to play during the 2018-19 season.

“I haven’t heard one thing to the contrary with any of our guys,” Self said during a news conference last month.

In late June, during a break at Washburn basketball camp in Topeka, De Sousa briefly addressed his status during an interview with reporters.

“Of course, I’m confident I’m going to play this year,” De Sousa said at the time. “No worries at all.”

Friday's news is merely the latest in the ongoing investigation that first became public last September, when federal prosecutors announced the charges against 10 men — including assistant coaches at Arizona, Auburn, USC and Oklahoma State along with a top Adidas executive — in a fraud and bribery scandal.

The case involves hundreds of thousands of dollars in alleged bribes and kickbacks designed to influence recruits on choosing a school, agent or apparel company. It has entangled schools such as N.C. State, Kansas, Louisville and Miami, among others, though prosecutors withdrew a criminal complaint in February against one of the defendants.

The fallout included the ouster of Louisville's Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino — who was not charged criminally — while top Cardinals recruit Brian Bowen transferred to South Carolina but was never cleared to play. Bowen ultimately declared for the NBA draft but went undrafted.

The case also led to the creation of a commission in October seeking to reform the sport. That group, led by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, issued its report in April and the NCAA has been reviewing those recommendations for possible implementation ahead of next season.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Ryan Zimmerman 4 years, 1 month ago

Said it before and will say it again. De Sousa won't play again at KU. Sadly and it sucks, but it's not going to happen IMHO. There are too many unknowns and afraid they'll drag it out again this season and he'll become a "Billy" after too much time goes by. I don't believe he had any knowledge, but this thing was blown up so big so somebody's going to need a scapegoat somewhere

Matt Tait 4 years, 1 month ago

I understand your point, but I think it's worth clarifying here that Billy Preston's case eventually became a reinstatement case, which was a huge part of the reason for the delay.

Unless Silvio is ruled ineligible at some point — which could happen but certainly is not imminent — there would be no reason for him to be reinstated and therefore no reason for KU to hold him out.

I think he'll play. I won't be shocked if that changes. But I don't think it'll be the same thing Preston went through last season.

Time will tell...

Craig Carson 4 years, 1 month ago

the big question is , if the NCAA does decide to suspend him or rule him ineligible, do they make KU vacate any games he has ever played in or do they just suspend him from playing in any future games? I think what worries KU fans, is seeing Louisville vacate 2 FF banners and a NC banner..we dont want to have to take down any banners...I dont think Silvio was aware of anything so his playing future and KU's ability to keep any wins he played in is in the hands of the NCAA

Matthew Coleman 4 years, 1 month ago

If the NCAA declares him ineligible based on nothing more than hearsay about alleged payments, they could be and maybe should be sued for lack of due process. Last year's damage to Preston's net worth was dramatic - but likely of his own making. Silvio's case by contrast seems to hinge on far shakier innuendo and hearsay. If the NCAA makes a determination that is found to be false and Silvio suffers for it, they should pay.

Dillon Davis 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't know if he or his family is guilty or not, but if I were Self I would not hesitate to hold him out until he knows for sure he is eligible to play. This team is deep and loaded and Silvio looks like he can be a solid player but we're gonna be really good with or without him. Last year, he held Billy out and that was when our frontcourt was not good or deep. This year, it's the complete opposite - so if he was willing to hold Billy out last year, why not hold Silvio out this year?

Obviously coach knows better than any of us where Silvio stands but from a fan perspective, I don't know why he'd risk playing him unless he's 100% cleared before the start of the season - given the depth and talent we have this year.

Craig Carson 4 years, 1 month ago

I agree...Silvio seems like a great kid caught in some mess that he wasnt even aprt of..but why take the risk of vacating a season ..Id rather they not play him until they know 100%...if I were KU, around September id start pressing the NCAA to let them know something so they know how to proceed..its not fair to KU or Silvio to not know

Dirk Medema 4 years, 1 month ago

It's not about the roster, and never has been.

It is about the info about the player, and Coach has never shied away from playing it conservative with holding people out.

If Coach is confident enough to play Silvio, it is because he knows more than we do, and I'm okay with that.

Doug Merrill 4 years, 1 month ago

Doesn't really appear to be anything new here, so not sure why we would be more pessimistic now than we were.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 1 month ago

Could see it optimistically.

If they had sufficient evidence they won't be seeking more.

Phil Leister 4 years, 1 month ago

"The fallout included the ouster of Louisville's Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino"

That's not correct, is it? Pitino was ousted because of the fallout with the escort having sex with recruits. This adidas stuff was unrelated.

Doug Longstaff 4 years, 1 month ago

No, the escort thing was was bad, but he survived it. The financial scandal was the last straw. That's ultimately what did him in.

Waylon Cook 4 years, 1 month ago

Ayton and Miller did way worse and it went away. Slow news day folks.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 1 month ago


Or maybe there was bad information that was originally reported making false claims about them. Hasn't that been since publicly clarified?

Maybe this is more bad info. So far, all we have is some claim by a criminal.

Jay Scott 4 years, 1 month ago

This is an enormous national security crisis!

The $3 Billion illegally given to Iran or the $150 Million paid by Russia to the Clintons for 20% of America's uranium is nowhere near as serious.....

James Miller 4 years, 1 month ago

If Condi Rice wasn't involved, I would swear GPS Fusion was conducting this investigation. Maybe they will distribute their dossier later...through illegal leaks of course.

Lawrence McGlinn 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh, Jay, you just can't seem to stay away from politics. You might want to get your head x-rayed to see if there is a chip with Cyrillic writing on it. I think you are getting instructions from Putin. Miraculously, I actually agree with you that this is not a big deal. It's also not a big deal when it happens at other institutions like Kentucky and UNC.

Jay Scott 4 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Larry.

The point of the comment was that actual Americans 1) don't think the FBI is political 2) don't care that they waste time on college sports 3) don't care/understand that our government agencies are massively corrupt.

It seems impossible that anyone could be that stupid. Thanks again for proving otherwise.

Robert Brock 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, De Sousa won’t be playing for Maryland.

Marcia Parsons 4 years, 1 month ago

I suspect Self is only worried about NCAA clearance to play. The FBI can't make anyone forfeit games. My worry is that the NCAA won't have the guts to give him clearance without waiting for the final FBI report (which could be complete in four or five years!) As for Pitino, he was in pretty deep. Adidas contracted directly with Pitino, not with the school. Makes one wonder what kind of personal bonus he got for that.

Chris Spangenburg 4 years, 1 month ago

The NCAA doesn't have to clear him. He is already cleared to play. The NCAA would have to to declare him ineligible to play at this point. So unless something comes to light with SDS's direct involvement ... that won't happen, and he continues to play.

Brian Conrad 4 years, 1 month ago

Time for fans to ask how the FBI has the man hours for this , but said they did not have man hours to GO BACK. And interview mass shooter ... thousands on hours into basketball will not save lives.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 1 month ago

This whole thing is fishy. Somebody did something.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 1 month ago

Yep. A criminal made some scribbling allegations in a book to justify his spending.

Mike Greer 4 years, 1 month ago

As a tax payer, I'm pretty sure I don't want the FBI using my tax dollars chasing down a few hundred thousand dollars of shady basketball deals. Surely they have better things to investigate. It's not high on my list of responsibilities of the FBI. Spend your resources preventing the next nut with a gun or knife from killing people, that would be in the public's interest.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 1 month ago

Jay - At the top of the totem pole it most definitely is political. Not so much down in the dirt where most people work but more and more the higher you climb.

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